Q. I’m dating a woman who is in the process of getting a divorce from her husband. Before we met, she was dating other men, and she continues to see this one man who is looking for a relationship with her. She continues to spend time with him every now and then to go hiking, and he keeps insisting on more quality time and has asked her to go away for the weekend.
She has told me she does not want to hurt his feelings by telling him she is seeing someone. I have met him at activities we all do together and he seems like a normal guy, but I don’t think it’s OK for her to continue to be his friend and not let him know she is in a relationship with another man.
He lost his wife to cancer a couple of years ago, and he’s looking to find a partner. She and I have been seeing each other for three months. We spend a lot of time together and have strong feelings for each other. My question is: Does she need to continue to see this other man and be friends with him? I have told her that it bothers me that they spend time together.
A. Are the two of you in an exclusive relationship? That seems to be the first question. Your letter implies that you’re her significant other and that there’s no one else, but if you’re making a guess about that, you should have that conversation. Find out if she’s ready for that kind of commitment. She’s still dealing with the divorce, so she might need more time.
For the record, based on your letter, it does sound like she should tell this other man that she’s seeing someone. It’s possible he’s inferred as much, but why not be clear? If she says she won’t have that conversation with him — or others — it’s something to consider as you make choices about your own level of commitment.
I won’t tell you that they can’t or shouldn’t be friends. It’s possible that their relationship can evolve into something platonic — and important. Maybe it’s always been more about talking and hiking than anything else. You ask if she needs to see this man, but she might want to. That’s OK, but she has to be honest with him — and you — about her intentions.
Are you sure she made a decision to pick you over him? LUCILLEVANPELT
The guy is grieving, and so is your girlfriend. If they have that in common and they’re friends, what is the issue? You either trust her or you don’t. WIZEN
People don’t go on hikes with people just to avoid hurting their feelings. OK, maybe once, but if she keeps going it’s because she wants to. The real questions are, to her: 1) Are you exclusive? And 2) Are she and this man really friends? And 3) If yes and yes, do you trust her? GRETCHYNN
She must be leading him on and/or giving him mixed signals. This is not right. She should be honest with him, if she is indeed in an exclusive relationship with you. Please be careful and guard your heart because she does not sound like a keeper. LIVE-LOVE-LAUGH
If you want something exclusive after three months, this isn’t the person for you. BKLYNMOM
Get Season 2 of Meredith Goldstein’s Love Letters podcast now at loveletters.show and Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to email@example.com.